Art Master 'Woonbo' Dies 2 Months After Reunion

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Art Master 'Woonbo' Dies 2 Months After Reunion

Kim Ki-chang, 88, one of Korea's greatest modern painters, died Tuesday. He is survived by three daughters and a son. Mr. Kim, more commonly known by his nickname, "Woonbo," was reunited with his younger brother last November in Seoul. Like him, his brother, Ki-man, is a painter but lives in North Korea. Mr. Kim also has a younger sister living in the North.

The former head of the National Museum of Korea, Choi Soon-woo, described Mr. Kim as "a painter with will, and full of passion." The painter was recognized for his spirit of experimentation and unique style of expression-ism. He is known for his dynam-ic, masculine brushstrokes.

Mr. Kim became deaf at the age of seven after contracting typhoid fever. He made his artistic debut in 1930 when he was 17 and studying under Kim Eun-ho (1892-1979), an earlier Korean master. From that time until the mid-1970s, when he reached his pinnacle with "Babo Sansu (Idiot's Land-scape)," his paintings were classed as realistic. His later works, however, placed more emphasis on con-struction and proportion.

He stopped painting in May 1996, hindered by a cerebral hemorrhage. His wife, Park Rae-hyun, also a painter, passed away in 1976 due to liver can- cer. Mr. Kim's lifetime output amounted to some15,000 pieces of work. A funeral mass will be held in his honor at the Myongdong Cathedral on Saturday.

by Cho Hyun-wook

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